Figures from early 2020 show that gaming is bigger than the NFL, NBA, MLB, and the NHL combined, and the record-breaking $30 million prize pool for Dota 2: The International (a multiplayer online battle arena video game) was almost three times larger than that of either the Super Bowl or the Masters Tournament and this was all before the pandemic hit!
As traditional sports leagues came to a standstill in 2020, esports picked up the mantle. LCS (League of Legends Championship Series) Commissioner Chris Greeley said, “We had a peak viewership of somewhere over 550,000, which were our biggest numbers in four to five years.”
Last May, the Verge reported that hours spent watching Twitch grew by 50% from March to April, and the platform saw a 120% increase in viewership year-over-year. In the midst of the pandemic during May 2020, the platform was up to 1.645 billion hours per month.
According to Statista, as parts of the world begin to emerge from the pandemic, esports isn’t going anywhere. They state that by 2024, there will be 577.2 million viewers of esports worldwide, a massive jump from the 435.9 million in 2020.